Gordonstoun School’s Character-Driven Ethos

by | Oct 5, 2021 | Education Feature

For the past 80 years, Gordonstoun School has served as a world leader in character education. While the school’s best-in-class instructors and holistic approach to education have shaped Gordonstoun as one of the highest-status schools on the globe, it is largely Gordonstoun’s unwavering ethos that broadens young minds and moulds future generations of innovators and leaders.

Gordonstoun’s dedication to bringing out the best in students guides both its curriculum and the school’s overall ethos. Meanwhile, Gordonstoun’s commitment to helping students develop a broad understanding of the world defines its culture and enables the school to provide its students with the education they need to live their lives to the fullest.

These are the six tenets that define Gordonstoun School’s ethos – each one is just as important as the rest.

1)   Teamwork

To succeed and enjoy a rich and fulfilling life, it’s important for students to work alongside others towards common goals. At Gordonstoun, teamwork is integral to the curriculum at all levels. Gordonstoun promotes collaboration and union at every step along students’ educational paths. Whether students are climbing mountains, planning charity balls, or sailing the school’s 80-foot sailboat, they’re working with their peers and building strong bonds.

2)   Internationalism

Few things benefit a young person more than developing a global perspective. That’s why providing students with a broad understanding of the world is one of Gordonstoun’s fundamental goals. By broadening students’ horizons and teaching its curriculum from an international perspective, Gordonstoun provides students with the breadth of understanding they need to make the world a better place.

3)   Responsibility

A willingness to shoulder responsibility is one of the most defining characteristics of a great leader. Gordonstoun encourages students to take responsibility for their behaviour, work, and treatment of others both in and out of the classroom.  Students in all year groups are given roles of responsibility, whether it’s showing visitors around the campus or finding ways to reduce the school’s carbon footprint.

4)   Service

Gordonstoun strives to instill in students a willingness to place the needs of others above their own. The school believes it is those who are willing to serve who enjoy life’s richest rewards. Therefore, Gordonstoun helps students give back to the local community, upholding the belief that service is key to personal success. For example, year-eleven students volunteer for one of nine local services, including the coastguard rescue team, first aid services, and fire service. Gordonstoun has a fully functional fire station on campus, and students help on its 24/7 callout service.

5)   Achievement

Personal goals and aspirations are important, and Gordonstoun works hard to prepare students to reach whatever goals they have set for themselves, both inside and outside of the classroom. While the school places a high level of focus on each student achieving their target grades, Gordonstoun also measures achievement in other ways. The school’s teachers push students to succeed at the highest possible levels of academia, performance, sports, and life at large. When students finally reach the end of their Gordonstoun journeys, they receive their final Gordonstoun Diploma certificates. These certificates record students’ achievements across the board, celebrating their successes in citizenship and service, outdoor learning, arts, culture, and sport.

6)   Compassion

Developing tolerance, understanding, and compassion for others is a vital part of living a vibrant and happy life in today’s multicultural society. The faculty and staff at Gordonstoun work hard to ensure students uphold care and compassion between their peers and in the wider community.

Plus Est En Vous – There Is More In You

Gordonstoun’s school motto, plus est en vous, is a French phrase that means ‘there is more in you’. No matter how much students accomplish, Gordonstoun will always support them as they push themselves further. Gordonstoun’s broad-ranging curriculum taps into students’ potential by encouraging them to explore talents and interests that go beyond academia. While the school’s academic standards are rigorous, Gordonstoun also instils students with passion, curiosity, initiative, and a thirst for adventure. Gordonstoun believes its students have much more to offer than just academic excellence. By encouraging students to push their boundaries and explore qualities and talents they didn’t know they had, Gordonstoun unlocks each student’s potential and helps them shape and nurture their interests.

Young people from around the world enjoy a broad, multicultural education at Gordonstoun School. Learn how to enroll your child.


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